Sprudge.com has never – and likely will never – publish anything along the lines of a definitive, qualitative list of “The Best Cafes In The World” or “The 69 Best Cafes in North America”, etc. Such content, while effective in terms of trolling for eyeballs, is inherently reductive and flawed, beholden to the bias of its authors, and suffers from all manner of qualms and questions about fairness. It's a can of worms, as they say, and not the fun pop-up kind.
But all that to say, if we were going to publish a list of “The 10 Best Multiroaster Cafes in The World“, or some other such other link baiting headline, there's a pretty clear baseline to draw from: Billy Wilson's small chain of BARISTA cafes in Portland, Oregon; the excellent Everyday Coffee in Melbourne; Houndstooth‘s two locations in Austin, Texas; Milstead & Co. in Seattle, Washington, which Sprudge.com co-founder Jordan Michelman has written about (a tad breathlessly, and at length) elsewhere; and several more. To that figurative, not real, entirely speculative and woefully incomplete list one would surely add the hard work and excellent menu curation being done by the Giannakos Brothers at Revolver, their high-flying multiroaster coffee bar in Vancouver's Gastown neighborhood.
The current menu offerings at Revolver are, in a word, impressive. On an average day – today, for example – guests can sample coffees from some of the very best roasters in North America, such as Ritual, Heart, Bows & Arrows, and Phil & Sebastian. Even better, this fall the team at Revolver are preparing to open a unique secondary space attached to their Gastown cafe. Called the “Archive”, it's being billed as a one-stop shop for home coffee brewers, packed to the gills with all manner of brewing implements and books to serve even the stuffiest Vancouver specialty coffee enthusiast. Not simply a retail annex, the Archive will be staffed by what's described as a dedicated “staff member / concierge”, capable of answering any and all questions on the wide variety of wares they stock.
It's an ambitious and exciting new addition to Revolver, and we expect nothing less from the Brother Giannakos. We sat down with one of them, George, to talk more about the Revolver Archive.
As told to Sprudge by George Giannakos.
We opened the doors to Revolver in September of 2011, and this past October the space next to us (we share a wall) came up for lease. After using it in December as a Christmas Pop-Up shop, and then a storage for a few months after, we are finally only a couple of weeks from opening it up permanently to fulfill it's full purpose.
The “Archive” is a space that will allow Revolver to grow both structurally and as a brand. In a structural sense, it will double our size and seating capacity. Since opening, we have had far more customers than our seats have allowed for and this will give us plenty more seating while still keeping both spaces intimate. As a brand, it will allow us to focus on coffee retail items and essentially act as a brick and mortar brewmethods.com, but with even more diversity and range. We'll be able to display all sorts of brewing equipment and filters and books that we just didn't have room for in the cafe. And because the space will have a staff member/concierge of sorts in it at all times, it will allow for extended conversation on how to use all the various devices and other coffee related questions that may not be possible to dedicate the required time during service in a busy cafe environment.
For example, answering questions on brew recipes or how something works, or even just helping someone find the right set up for their particular needs. Lastly, we plan to carry an assortment of “coffee lifestyle” items – things that aren't used to make coffee per say, but that go hand in hand with it. Things like books and stationary, because who doesn't like to journal or read with a nice cup of coffee? It will no doubt end up being a lot of different things to different people, but ultimately it will provide a one stop source for anything coffee on the retail side, while giving us the much needed space to put some more seats in.
Any machines, coffees, or special equipment lined up?
As far as what we plan to regularly have in stock: The full spectrum. Electric Kettles, Stovetop Kettles, Paper and metal filters, aeropresses, french presses, clevers, siphons, pour overs, coffee books, coffee journals – the list goes on. If it's coffee related, we'll either have it, or be able to bring it in for you. As time goes, (or perhaps right away – anything is possible) we'd like to branch out into ‘coffee lifestyle' items; Things that aren't coffee specific, but go hand in hand with it – like stationary, books, magazines – that kind of thing.
What's your hopeful target opening month? What's the address?
This fall, with the exact date TBA – we are hoping for as soon as possible, and I would guess around a month if all goes well with permitting (though it never does). And we're located at 325 Cambie Street in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Can't get enough Build-Outs of Summer? Relive the whole series here, in our BOOS Archive.